Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Belstaff X Chris Bonington...By Saul Wilks

Sir Chris Bonington rightly holds the elevated status of Knight, awarded the illustrious honour for his valiant services to mountaineering and outdoor pursuits. Having successfully ascended Everest and lead exhibitions in some of the most unforgivable terrain known to man, his willing to push boundaries, both physical and mental, some what encapsulates the pioneering attitude of British determination and spirit. Following his successes and gallant assaults on nature herself, in the late 1970's Belstaff asked him to come on board and help develop a jacket for the outdoors and so the Belstaff Chris Bonington came to fruition.

More suited to rambling in the Yorkshire Dales than having a pop at Everest, this basic but beautiful parka has been a holy grail of mine for some time and I recently came across one in that mecca of old skool and vintage outwear, Bags of Flavour, Manchester.

If truth be told I've not taken this off since it came into my possession , it's fast becoming my jacket of choice: perfect for throwing on over a knit, a shirt or just a tee-shirt if I'm slumming it around. I love the muted green of the outer, the beige softness of the inner and of course, the all important circular Belstaff badge to the chest.

As far as design goes, it's pretty simple, well constructed and has a couple of handy pockets for every day goods, but there's beauty in basic, as I have come to appreciate over the years.

On this fine over cast afternoon where the sky forms clashing shades of grey and the air is crisp, I decided to go for a walk, take some writing equipment and head down to one of my favourite thinking spots. It's usually quiet around these parts, the echo of industrial clatter long since faded and the scene of inner city restoration fighting against modern decay. It's a poetic scene, romantic, helpless. 

The perfect back drop for such activities.

It's been a while since I put ink on paper and created any visceral works, poetry, thought jotting, whatever you want to call it, but today something in me felt different and so I did just that:

On the banks of Usk where I sit in solace, escape my thoughts for a moment in time, 
clash strong against invisible forces, grown soft and weary in this minds eye.

With hues of grey, the sky settled fair, meet with colourful thoughts, I sit and stare,
etched memories still, of days of thunder, and sunshine still, I think of those.

These vivid colours possess the scene, wash over me and cleanse me please,
abundant with passion, they cease to die, caress the earth, they kiss the sky.

When energy burns, refused to fade, with loving words to serenade,
Escaped this scene, now back once more, my mind at peace, my heart at war.

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